With just two weeks left in the regular season, several teams have already solidified their place in the NFC playoff picture. Heading into Week 16, both the Eagles and the Vikings have clinched their respective division title. But this weekend's matchups will have important implications for the remaining playoff contenders, including the Rams.
With the Los Angeles' 42-7 rout over the Seahawks in Week 15, the club controls its own destiny in the NFC West. The Rams will travel to Tennessee to face the Titans with a chance to clinch the division with a week left.
IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY:
At 10-4 and in first place in the NFC West, Los Angeles remains in a favorable position to host a playoff game during Wild Card Weekend. As the NFC's current No. 3 seed, the Rams would host the No. 6 Falcons at the Coliseum in the Wild Card round.
CURRENT NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE:
|Seed||Team||Comment||Record vs. NFC||Next|
||Eagles(12-2)||Even without starting quarterback Carson Wentz, the Eagles were still able to get it done against the Giants. With the win, Philadelphia secured a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.||10-1||vs Raiders (6-8)|
||Vikings(11-3)||Minnesota bounced back from a loss to the Panthers with a dominant win over the Bengals, clinching the NFC North title.||8-2||at Packers (7-7)|
||Rams(10-4)||The Rams blew out the Seahawks, taking a commanding lead in the NFC West. With a victory over the Titans in Week 16, L.A. will clinch the division title.||7-4||at Titans (8-8)|
||Saints(10-4)||The Saints outlasted the Jets at home to remain in first place in the NFC South, with the Panthers following closely behind.||7-3||vs. Falcons (8-5)|
||Panthers(10-4)||Carolina defeated Green Bay on Sunday — pulling off another impressive victory at home and keeping them well within reach of the division title.||6-4||
vs. Buccaneers (4-9)
Atlanta pulled out a narrow victory over the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. The Falcons are now one win away from a trip to the playoffs.
|8-2||at Saints (10-4)|
IN THE HUNT:
- Detroit Lions (8-6)
- Seattle Seahawks (8-6)
- Dallas Cowboys (8-6)
OUTLOOK FOR WEEK 15:
This is another big weekend for the NFC and especially for the Rams. Sunday's contest in Tennessee could determine the winner of the NFC West and help Los Angeles in its race to the playoffs.
No. 3 Rams vs. No. 5 Titans (AFC)
The Rams head into Nissan Stadium as the No. 3 seed in the conference and with a two-game division lead over the Seahawks. If L.A. defeats the Titans or if Seattle loses to the Cowboys, the Rams will clinch their first division title in over a decade. But if the club loses to Tennessee, Los Angeles would fall to no worse than No. 4.
No. 1 Eagles vs. No. 9 Raiders (AFC)
The Eagles (12-2) currently hold the best record in the NFC and will be playing for home-field advantage in the playoffs this weekend. Philadelphia has already guaranteed its place as the No. 1 or No. 2 seed, but it will secure home field advantage with either a win over the Raiders or a Vikings loss.
No. 2 Vikings vs. Packers
With a dominant win over the Bengals last weekend, the Vikings will be looking to secure a first-round bye with another victory in Week 16. If Minnesota defeats the Packers and the Panthers lose or tie, the Vikings will secure a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs — guaranteeing their place as the No. 1 or No. 2 seed.
No. 4 Saints vs. No. 6 Falcons
The Week 16 contest between the Saints and the Falcons could determine a new leader in the NFC South. The Saints have retained a small hold of the division thus far, but haven't beaten Atlanta since the final game of the 2015 season. Plus, the contest carries significant weight for both teams — the Falcons or Saints will clinch a playoff berth with a win on Sunday and New Orleans can clinch a division title with both a win and a Panthers loss.
No. 5 Panthers vs. Buccaneers
The Panthers will be looking for their third-straight victory on Sunday against Tampa Bay. If they are able to secure a win in Week 16, they will clinch an NFC playoff berth and at least remain on pace with the Saints for the NFC South.
SO YOU'RE SAYING THERE'S A CHANCE?
The Rams will clinch a trip to the NFC playoffs with a win on Sunday. But even if they don't come home with a victory, there is a still a chance for L.A. to secure a playoff berth — the club will need the Lions to lose or tie, and the Panthers and Falcons to lose. Los Angeles will also be guaranteed a spot in the playoffs should Seattle lose in Week 16.